Saturday, October 1, 2022

Ancestry by Fred LaMotte


My DNA results came in.
Just as I suspected,
my great great grandfather
was a monarch butterfly.
Much of who I am is still
wriggling under a stone.
I am part larva, but
part hummingbird too.
There is dinosaur tar in
my bone marrow.
My golden hair sprang out
of a meadow in Palestine.
Genghis Khan is my fourth cousin,
but I didn't get his dimples.
My loins are loaded with
banyan seeds from Sri Lanka,
but I descended from Ravanna,
not Ram.
My uncle is a mastodon.
There are traces of white people
in my saliva.
3.7 billion years ago I swirled
in hydrogen dust,
dreaming of a planet overgrown
with lingams and yonis.
More recently, say 60,000 B.C.
I walked on hairy paws
across a land bridge
joining Sweden to Botswana.
I am the bastard of the sun and moon.
I can no longer hide my heritage of
raindrops and cougar scat.
My mud was molded with your grandmother's tears.
I was the brother
who marched you to the sea
and sold you.
I was the merchant from Savannah
and the cargo of blackness.
I was the chain.
Admit it, you have wings,
vast and crystal,
like mine, like mine.
You have sweat, dark and salty,
like mine, like mine.
You have secrets silently
singing in your blood,
like mine, like mine.
Don't pretend that earth
is not one family.
Don't pretend we never hung
from the same branch.
Don't pretend we do not ripen
on each other's breath.
Don't pretend we didn't
come here to forgive.
Poem "Ancestry" by Fred LaMotte

1 comment:

  1. This is stunningly beautiful and all too true. Thank you for sharing it.